Gluten-free-for-all

Thanks to goodnessknows for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to refocus on healthy living goals!

I remember once proclaiming that I’d rather date a vegetarian than someone who was gluten-free.  I said “vegetarian” like it was something utterly disdainful, the penultimate compatibility failure.  Fast forward a few years, and I’m the (most-of-the-time) vegetarian touting a gluten-free fellow.  Oh, how the tables turn!  Starting this blog 6.5 years ago was sort of like my healthy living “puberty” — back then, I was dipping my toe in the internet’s complex, often conflicting, never-ending pool of health-focused information.  I was intrigued, excited, and totally misguided.  But, just as our bodies physically mature over our lifetimes, our tastes, preferences, and views shift and expand, strengthen and sag too.  And thank god for that.  Otherwise I’d still be eating fat-free dairy for snacks and microwaved broccoli for breakfast every day. goodnessknows

Near the time I started blogging, I learned about the gluten-free diet from my friend Tracy, who, after an onslaught of tummy troubles, found that dairy-free, gluten-free foods made her feel “normal” again.  At the time, “gluten” was a word few people knew or cared much about, and this whole gluten-free diet thing sounded MISERABLE to me.  So, I made it my mission to find Tracy a decent gluten-free, dairy-free pizza so that her new GF life wouldn’t be completely devoid of joy.
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Broccoli, Leek, & Potato Soup {vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, whole30 recipe}

I wrote this Broccoli, Leek, & Potato Soup post as part of a series for Tasteful Selections Potatoes, which is sponsoring Katie’s Krops, an awesome hunger-focused nonprofit fueled by kid-run gardens, through January 2016 (details below).  

This January, I’ve committed to refocusing on healthy living.  Just like the rest of humanity.  Sure it’s cliché, but in my mind New Year’s Day is like hitting the “reset” button on the Nintendo.  While I’m normally pretty health-focused, things got a little crazy last year (as they do every year), and I’m thankful for this month to refresh.  At this time last year, I was timidly beginning my first Whole30–a nutritional reset program focused on super clean eating for thirty days–and I’m doing the same this year.  When I mention the Whole30 in conversation, I often get concerned looks and questions of “wait… what the heck do you eat?”  In a nutshell, the Whole30 rules out grains, sugar, beans, soy, dairy, unnatural ingredients, and booze.  Which leaves us with protein, fats, and veggies.  Lots and lots of veggies.

Broccoli, Leek, & Potato Soup Recipe {vegan, gluten free, whole30}

(bowls by JMNPottery)

The secret to a successful Whole30 (or any clean-eating program, for that matter) is planning, and my plan includes batch cooking tons of vegetables each week.  This week, for example, I sautéed an entire head cabbage, roasted three pounds of brussels sprouts, sautéed three bell peppers and two onions, bought a giant container of baby spinach to toss in EVERYTHING, and made this hearty Broccoli, Leek, and Potato Soup.  More vegetables than a vegetarian, as they say.

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Eating gluten-free in Charlotte, NC

Tracy, my gluten-free girlfriend (GF-GF, if you will) is coming to town this week.  For reference, here’s a picture of Tracy from her last visit to Charlotte:

Last time Tracy visited, we quickly realized there are TONS of “gluten-free friendly” restaurants in Charlotte, but far fewer actually post their gluten-free options on the web.  So, I’ve been in research mode over the past couple of weeks and pulled together the list below, which links to each restaurant’s GF menu and/or a menu that indicates which items are gluten-free.

Know of a Gluten-free restaurant in Charlotte that I missed?  Leave me a comment with a link to the menu below!

Restaurants located uptown are marked with a *

[one_third]131 Main

Basil Thai*

Bad Daddy’s

Block & Grinder

Blue*

Bricktops

Brixx*

Burger21

Campania Cafe & Trattoria

Cowfish

Emeril’s E2

Firebirds

[/one_third]

[one_third]

Fuel Pizza*

Harpers

Jason’s Deli*

Killington’s

Lorenzo’s Pizzeria

Luna’s Living Kitchen

Mellow mushroom*

Melting Pot

Midwood Smokehouse

Morton’s*

New South Kitchen & Bar

Nolen Kitchen

[/one_third]

[one_third_last]

Pure Taqueria

Rooster’s Kitchen*

Shanes rib shack

Tupelo Honey

Upstream

Village Tavern

Vivace

Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar

ZenFusion

Zoe’s

[/one_third_last]

 

Other delicious restaurants that have gluten-free menus (not available online at the time of this post):

 

Restaurants that serve gluten free pancakes:

 

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